ARCHIVED      Text Version     PDF Version     To Publications Page     To Home Page

NDIC seal linked to Home page.

   

National Drug Intelligence Center.

   

Title:

Rhode Island
Drug Threat Assessment

Rhode Island Drug Threat Assessment.Publication Date: July 2003

Document ID: 2003-S0377RI-001

Archived on:  January 1, 2006. This document may contain dated information. It remains available to provide access to historical materials.

This report is a strategic assessment that addresses the status and outlook of the drug threat to Rhode Island. Analytical judgment determined the threat posed by each drug type or category, taking into account the most current quantitative and qualitative information on availability, demand, production or cultivation, transportation, and distribution, as well as the effects of a particular drug on abusers and society as a whole. While NDIC sought to incorporate the latest available information, a time lag often exists between collection and publication of data, particularly demand-related data sets. NDIC anticipates that this drug threat assessment will be useful to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, and treatment providers at the federal, state, and local levels because it draws upon a broad range of information sources to describe and analyze the drug threat to Rhode Island.

Your questions, comments, and suggestions for future subjects are welcome at any time.  Addresses are provided at the end of the page.
Flag image Stockbyte.


                       

Contents 

Executive Summary

Overview
 Fast Facts

Heroin
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

 

Cocaine
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Marijuana
  Abuse
  Availability
  Violence
  Production
  Transportation
  Distribution

Other Dangerous Drugs
  Club Drugs
  Diverted Pharmaceuticals

Methamphetamine

Outlook

Sources


List of Tables 

Table 1. Percentage of Drug-Related Federal Sentences by Drug Type, Rhode Island and United States, FY2001
Table 2. Substance Abuse-Related Treatment Admissions to Publicly Funded Facilities, Rhode Island, 1997-2001
Table 3. Heroin Prices, Rhode Island, First Quarter FY2003
Table 4. Cocaine Prices, Rhode Island, First Quarter FY2003
Table 5. Marijuana Prices, Rhode Island, First Quarter FY2003


Executive Summary

The distribution and abuse of illicit drugs pose a serious threat to Rhode Island. Providence has emerged as a regional transshipment city from which criminal groups ship heroin and, to a much lesser extent, cocaine to areas throughout the state and the New England region. Illicit drugs primarily are transported into and through the state in private, commercial, and rental vehicles, typically via Interstates 95, 195, and 295.

Heroin is a significant drug threat to Rhode Island. South American heroin is readily available throughout the state. Southeast Asian heroin also is available, although to a lesser extent. Heroin abuse levels are high, and the availability of low cost, high purity South American heroin continues to attract a new, younger abuser population that snorts or smokes the drug, rather than injects it. Dominican criminal groups are the primary transporters of heroin into Rhode Island. They transport the drug from New York City using private vehicles, often equipped with false compartments, as well as rental vehicles. Dominican criminal groups also are the primary wholesale and retail distributors of heroin in Rhode Island. Colombian criminal groups, among others, distribute wholesale quantities of heroin as well. Other retail distributors include African American and Hispanic criminal groups and gangs and various local independent dealers. Heroin primarily is distributed in parking lots from private vehicles, although it also is frequently distributed from residences, at local housing projects, at local malls and shopping plazas, and on street corners.

Cocaine, particularly crack, poses a serious drug threat to Rhode Island. Cocaine is readily available, commonly abused, and more frequently associated with violent crime than any other illicit drug in the state. Dominican criminal groups using private vehicles, often equipped with false compartments, as well as rental vehicles transport most of the powdered cocaine available in the state from New York City via Interstate 95. Dominican criminal groups are the primary wholesale and retail distributors of powdered cocaine in the state. Colombian criminal groups, among others, distribute wholesale quantities of powdered cocaine as well. Other retail distributors of powdered cocaine include Caucasian criminal groups and local independent dealers who typically distribute the drug in smaller cities, towns, and rural areas. African American criminal groups and gangs and, to a lesser extent, Hispanic gangs, Caucasian criminal groups, and various local independent dealers distribute retail quantities of crack cocaine in the state. Powdered and crack cocaine distribution typically occurs in public areas such as parking lots, malls, and shopping plazas and from private residences.

Marijuana is the most widely available and commonly abused illicit drug in Rhode Island. However, the drug is generally regarded as a lower threat than heroin and cocaine because it is less often associated with violent crime. Most of the marijuana available in the state is produced in Mexico. Marijuana produced locally as well as marijuana produced in Canada and Jamaica also is available. Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of marijuana into Rhode Island. These groups transport the drug into the state primarily using commercial and private vehicles. No specific group controls the distribution of marijuana in Rhode Island. Caucasian criminal groups, as well as Dominican, Jamaican, Mexican and other Hispanic criminal groups and various local independent dealers, among others, distribute marijuana at the wholesale level in the state. African American, Caucasian, and Hispanic criminal groups, local independent dealers, outlaw motorcycle gangs, and street gangs, among others, distribute marijuana at the retail level in Rhode Island.

Other dangerous drugs pose an increasing threat to Rhode Island. This category of drugs includes the club drugs MDMA, GHB and its analogs, LSD, and ketamine as well as diverted pharmaceuticals such as Dilaudid, OxyContin, Percocet, Percodan, Ritalin, and Vicodin. Caucasian local independent dealers are the primary wholesale and retail distributors of these drugs in Rhode Island. The club drugs MDMA, GHB and its analogs, ketamine, and LSD often are sold at nightclubs, raves or techno parties, or openly in hand-to-hand exchanges on the streets as well as at bars, private parties, gyms, or student hangouts near high school and college campuses. Often the individuals who distribute these drugs--typically teenagers and young adults--also abuse these substances.

Methamphetamine is infrequently available and abused in Rhode Island and is not considered a significant drug threat to the state. Although methamphetamine-related treatment admissions to publicly funded facilities increased from 1997 to 2001, the number of admissions remains low. Further, federal law enforcement officials in Rhode Island did not seize any methamphetamine throughout 2001, and there was only one methamphetamine laboratory seizure from 1998 through 2002.

 


Addresses

National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901

Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
E-mail NDIC.Contacts@usdoj.gov

National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840

Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807

 

Web Addresses

ADNET:  http://ndicosa 
      DOJ:  http://www.usdoj.gov/archive/ndic/
      LEO:  home.leo.gov/lesig/archive/ndic/ 
     RISS:  ndic.riss.net


To Top     To Contents     To Next Page

To Publications Page     To Home Page


End of page.